Subject: Re: Do We Need a New Evangelist
From: Brian Behlendorf <>
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999 17:03:35 -0800 (PST)

On 2 Apr 1999, Russell Nelson wrote:
> Ben Laurie writes:
>  > What I'd change in your activities:
>  > 
>  > a) reveal your board member selection process
> Hmmm...  Well, it comes from b) so I guess these are the same point.
>  > b) reveal your deliberations
> I'll work on it.

I might not be able to escape it, but I'll try and claim that I'm not
speaking for OSI here, because in fact, I'm not.  But in general there's
nothing wrong with the directorate of an organization to discuss things in
private - just as we don't publish the archives of apache-core, Ben.  On
the other hand, there is probably a great deal more that can be published
by OSI, and I believe that corporate law requires some degree of
disclosure of board activities, so if/when OSI incorporates that'll be
something to deal with.  So I'll echo Russell and say I'll work on it too.  

>  > c) visibly accept input from the broad community
> done deal.

Russell, I think I know what you're referring to, and it's a good first
step, but not the last one.

>  > d) be democratic
> It doesn't matter who makes the rules, as long as the rules treat
> everyone fairly.  Calls for democracy usually result when there are
> allegations of unfairness, which is what all your other objections
> address.

I would dispute this strongly.  In so far as OSI attempt to speak for any
community - the "hacker" community, the open source community, etc., its
mandate is derived from that community, and it *must* listen to its
constituents.  OSI can be either a competitive entity like a business, in
which case, yes, you can do what you want and let people follow along or
bail; or we could be a representative entity, which means we act on a
community's behalf.  This doesn't mean every item is up for public debate
and vote, of course.

It's worth considering that OSI is more accountable to the community than,
say, Apache developers are.  Apache devs have the luxury of saying to our
community "we're heading in a particular direction, and if you don't like
it, you can fork the code".  I think no one can see the value of forking
efforts like OSI.

>  > f) find out what people actually want from an "open source" badge, and
>  > implement it
> done deal.

An ongoing process, I'd call it.